I have an announcement to make that won’t come as much of a surprise to many of you:
The tie is dead.
It used to be that a knotted silk neck tie formed the very essence of a male recruiter’s appearance. The suit, the shirt, the shiny shoes, the oversized watch and the black compendium were completed with a flourish of swishing silk knotted around the neck. This probably came about with the traditional recruitment services offered into the Accounting, Banking and General Management sectors that required an element of dressing up to mirror your clients and candidates to put them at ease and generate credibility. But is there really any point in the modern age of business?
My mind moved onto this subject while watching the news last night where the Japanese Environmental Ministry have launched the “Super Cool Biz” campaign. With power shortages arising from the crippled Fukushima power plant they are removing air conditioning from many office buildings and workers are preparing to work in 28C temperatures. Obviously, the announcement was made from a gaggle of open-necked politicians who out of necessity had ditched their usually conservative look.
This got me thinking. I have a wardrobe stuffed with ties of varying hues and textures that I have absolutely no intention of ever wearing again. In fact the last time I wore one was, ingruously enough, at my sister’s wedding last November in a sweltering little Hunter Valley church in New South Wales, which was enough to put anyone off such sartorial strangulations for life.
I spend all day meeting all kinds of recruiters and the times I come across people in ties are virtually non-existant. In fact, I have noticed an increasing trend for the second button of the shirt to be unbuttoned now too. Oh yeah, look out ladies (and some men), the open-necked recruiters are becoming the open-chested recruiters. What a dubious delight! This was well-illustrated recently when I interviewed a promising young recruiter and put him forward to a particular firm. This firm happened to have the Australian CEO in town who wanted to meet my candidate. The CEO being rather old-school and conservative, it was suggested that he would improve his chances of impressing said CEO by sporting a good, knotted tie. This was suggested amongst much jocularity and eye-rolling but the message was clear enough, and lo and behold the candidate got the thumbs up and got the job.
So join me on this long Queen’s Birthday weekend in liberating your wardrobes from those old ties once and for all. And if you refuse, or disagree, then fine, let me hear your side of the story. But don’t let me interrupt you faxing those CVs and writing up your newspaper job ads.
But hey, maybe keep one back just in case, you never know when you might need to impress an old-school interviewer. Or MC at your sister’s wedding, for that matter.